The papers committee for XDC is selected by the board, and should represent both the community overall and the current organizers of XDC. Below are notes from the paper committee for a bit more consistency and making expectations and goals clear. Feedback from attendees and presenters very much welcome.

CFP Process

A bunch of guidelines:

  • Submission deadline 2 months before the conference. We can always accept late submissions if there's free slots, but 2 months is the limit we need to approve travel sponsoring requests with enough time for attendees to book the flights afterwards.
  • Align confirmations with next board meeting 2-3 weeks later (for travel grants voting), volunteer run org can't be faster.
  • We need 1 week to confirm all accepted talks. That means 3 weeks between the submission deadline and when we can publish a first draft program earliest.
  • Accept both formal proposals to board@foundation.x.org and informal ones directly added to the wiki at https://www.x.org/wiki/Events/XDC2018/Program/ Informal proposals much preferred, because much less work for the papers committee. FIXME: We need a real tool here, this doesn't scale anymore.
  • No PDFs, just plain text.

Intro session

We sucked a bit with this, probably need a proper slide deck with the following information:

  • WiFi login.
  • Toilets, discussion room and stuff like that.
  • Where to get food with local recommendations if it's not all catered.
  • Anti-Harassment Policy reminder and where/how to report issues. Let dedicated enforcers stand up so everyone knows them.
  • Social event on Sat and recommendations for the evening track.
  • Reminder to keep notes about hallway track topics and present them on Fri afternoon in the lightning talk slot.
  • Highlight workshops scheduled for that day, since those can be rather ad-hoc.
  • Explain hallway pacman: Leave a gap in group discussions so others can easily join, actively invite people to participate.
  • Anything else?

Probably needs 15 minutes or so in the schedule at least on the first day.

Main track talks

  • Main track talks are usually 45 minutes. Presentations should aim at 35 minutes to make sure there's plenty of time for Q&A. Also explicit ask for half-slots, which are 15' plus 5' Q&A,and 10' breaks in between. This needs a real tool with a drop down selection.
  • We want the expert, so no talk-by-proxy by a presenter talking about what other people not present at the conference have done. XDC is still very much a workshop conference, if the Q&A boils down to "I need to check that when I'm back at the office with the expert" then there's not much use.
  • It should be about open source graphics of course, but beyond that the possible topics are very wide. Anything from docs, community topics, organizing stuff, using the open stack and what that's like is all in scope.
  • Main track has become a bit cramped, we'll likely reject more talks in the future to give more room for discussions than trying to cram almost every submission into the program like before.

Internship talks

We want to give every successful internship student (GSoC, EVoC, ...) a chance to attend and present at XDC. Those presentations tend to be shorter talks of 20 minutes, and we're trying to schedule them early in the conference so that they serve as a nice introduction for the student.

Workshop track

With the increase in talk submissions the white space in the XDC program evaporated, leaving much less space for ad-hoc technical discussions. We want to strenghten the workshop nature of XDC again by asking for discussion proposals.

  • Ideally two people submit a proposal, one to lead the discussion and make sure it stays on track, second person to keep notes.

  • Summary of the discussion will be presented at the end of XDC in a lightning talk.

  • Also good to kick things of with a presentation in the main track summarizing the current state of the art and what the questions are. We'll schedule those talks on the first day, so that the discussions can happen on Thu and Fri.

Lightning talks

  • 5 minutes, really.
  • No questions, really.
  • Lightning talk isn't a full talk done faster, you need a new slide deck. Rule of thumb 5 normal slides max, or compress it on 1 page of notes you go through. One main point you want to get across.
  • One at least for each workshop discussion, or to summarize other ad-hoc hallway tracks. These have priority.
  • Big 1.5h block on Friday (mainly to report out hallway track), sprinkle some half-slots on Wed/Thu too.
  • Schedule on the wiki while the conference is happening.

Demo session

We've done this a few times now, seems to be somewhat useful:

  • 10 minutes, no questions.
  • More time to show some real demo.
  • Slot Wed afternoon, scheduled like lightning talks.